Perils of Blogging
Have I told you about the perils of blogging? Since Labor Day, I've been sending you a post each week, not knowing that they were not being delivered by the mailing service. If blogging sounds simple, trust me, it's not. In the meantime, my apologies. Essentially, subscribers were not getting Sunday morning updates via email. Yet those who are friends on Facebook could read the posts there. What a mess, what a muddle. But now, hoping against hope that this snafu is behind me, let me belatedly say welcome back! Sorry its taken this long. Here's the first one that you missed.
Summer slipped away faster than water down a bathtub drain. Not that I cared. I've never been a fan of summer, not even as a child. Childhood summers meant hot humid days dripping with boredom and weeks spent not doing much of anything other than goofing off.
On a good day, the arts and crafts teacher might show up in the school yard to teach us how to make potholders on small handheld looms. Mine I gave to my grandmother at Christmas. She needed it, as she always had something cooking on the stove or in the oven.
On a really good summer day, my mom, who didn't drive, might pack a picnic lunch and we would take the No. 7 trolley to Tibbets Brook Park for a swim. If pressed for time, we simply pushed the baby carriage across the parkway to reach the banks of the Bronx River for a wade and a splash. The river was a block from our house on Crescent Place. How I loved the river, the idea that if I floated downstream long enough, I'd end up on the high seas, out in the Atlantic Ocean.
That said, my brothers and I lived for weekends when my father was off and would take us to the beach. Which is why I was one of those kids who couldn't wait for school to begin each year.
As for the summer of 2015, it's been an interesting one with a steep learning curve -- issues swirling around the publication of my memoir, Veronica's Grave. I don't know where the weeks have gone, no less the days. In an article I was reading recently, the writer insisted that 'the brain loves novelty.' If so, mine must be whooping it up 24/7, doing somersaults, offering high-fives.
High on the list of things that needed doing was coming up with a title and a cover. On these matters, the entire dream team -- from my developmental editor, Elizabeth Kracht at Kimberley Cameron & Associates and publisher Brooke Warner of She Writes Press to my proofreader extraordinaire, Megan Rynott, and editorial manager Lauren Wise at Sparkpoint Studio -- all weighed in. As did the talented book cover designer, Julie Metz.
Still, no matter how much has been accomplished, it pales by comparison with what needs doing. Facing me every morning, pinned to a cork-board behind the computer, is a list of 50+ items that need to be checked off before the publication date, May 9, 2016. Here's a sampling:
No. 1. Create an author website. No. 2. Start a blog.
From first hand experience, I know that creating a website, one requiring monthly maintenance and updating, is no easy task. Nor is starting and maintaining a blog. Witness what happened with the mailings last month. In fact, it’s estimated that over 85% of those who start blogging give it up within the year. What's more, it can be an expensive proposition when you tally the costs of hosting, custom programming, troubleshooting and more. Much more.
When seeing that list for the first time, I thanked my lucky stars I had started the website and blog last year. It's taken that long to feel comfortable with the basics and the ramifications of operating what is a powerful Word-Press website. Happily, hurriedly, I checked off the first two boxes, only to have my eyes come to a halt at:
No. 3 Build your social media.
Gasp! Well you probably know that building a social media platform is a herculean process. And that's where you come in. You see, each time you 'like' a page or 'share' a post, you’re helping me to get my message out on social media.
You're doing a great job, for which I'm grateful. Indeed, according to Facebook, the last post on the Memorial Day weekend -- do you remember the one on Van Gogh, the Frick Museum and Brasserie Cognac East? -- had over 900 views and 125 shares. That's fantastic! So, darlings, keep up the good work. Don’t be stingy with the 'like's and 'shares'.
But summer wasn't all work and no play. Not at all, as there was Paris in June, the weather sublime, the restaurants and art shows captivating. As was seeing the Eiffel Tower yet again, strolling the Seine (even brides do it) as always, and late-lunching at a lively brasserie at the tip of Ile St Louis, across from Notre Dame. But more on all that in weeks to come.
And there was Bermuda in July, the photos detailing some of Bermuda's pleasures. The latest being a new hot spot, Marcus, which was opened a few months ago by Marcus Samuelsson at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club, In the heart of town, on the beach. Then, too, there was that memorable lunch at Tucker's Point.
Now I'm looking forward to being with you next week -- à la semaine prochaine. And remember what we say: Sharing is caring. Merci beaucoup.